Archive for the ‘What Works’ Category

Interpreters needed

June 24, 2017

This blog post from the UK expresses the skepticism of front-line officers regarding evidence-based policing and the current push to infuse a stronger academic orientation in police development and promotion schemes. Attending a conference, the constable notes “On more than one occasion, the other delegates I sat with – all serving officers – turned to look at one another with one of two expressions … bewilderment [or] incredulity.”

Inconsistent lineups in Minnesota

June 13, 2017

This article describes several cases of flawed photo lineups in Minnesota, a state that pioneered improved eyewitness identification procedures over a decade ago. A 2016 survey found that 60% of the state’s law enforcement agencies lack written policies on the subject. Despite evidence to the contrary, most chiefs believe they are “up to snuff” and prosecutors say “they shouldn’t be dictating investigative processes to police.”

NIJ LEADS Scholars taking applications

June 2, 2017
The National Institute of Justice has a LEADS Scholars program that offers support for sworn mid-career law enforcement personnel with a passion for research and evidence-based policing. The program, started in 2014, is described here.  Applications are now open for the “Class of 2017” — closing June 30. Instructions are posted here.

Designing out crime

February 1, 2017

This article reports an award to a UK company for developing a process of “infusing thousands of microdots into metal sheets ‘marking’ them with a unique identifying code” intended to reduce theft of roofing and building material. The “secured by design” crime prevention program, started in 1989, uses standards and tests nominated and approved by the police to determine which products and systems receive recognition.

Impact of school police

January 25, 2017

This article discusses the impact of police in schools, emphasizing that roles are often poorly defined with limited evidence on effectiveness. Examples are provided of studies now underway through the federally-funded Comprehensive School Safety Initiative.

2016 Goldstein Award

January 23, 2017

The Herman Goldstein Award is given each year at the POP conference to recognize the best example of problem-oriented policing. The 2016 winner was High Point, North Carolina for its Intimate Partner Violence Intervention (IPVI), a focused deterrence initiative that achieved dramatic reductions in both homicides and recidivism. A published description of the project is available here.

Certainty of detection & DUI

January 10, 2017

According to this new study based on self-reported behavior, increased likelihood of being pulled over or encountering a sobriety checkpoint corresponds to less alcohol-impaired driving, whereas increased penalties do not.

Fork in the road in Minneapolis

December 22, 2016

This article reports an ongoing debate in Minneapolis over whether to invest in more police or social services to tackle violent crime. Some community leaders fear that more police will simply increase low-level arrests, but police say they need the additional staff in order to get beyond just reactive 9-1-1 policing.

Evidence-based policing

November 23, 2016

The logic behind evidence-based practices, meaning practices based on the best available knowledge about effectiveness and what works, has become well accepted throughout government circles, including policing. The basic rationale is explained here, and evidence-based policing societies have been established in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia & New Zealand.

More questions about PredPol

November 11, 2016

This article raises several questions about the predictive policing software PredPol. Its claim of greater effectiveness than hot spots policing and traditional crime analysis is unproven. Its popularity seems to be due more to excellent marketing and sales than to science.